Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Sunday that Japan is committed to further enhancing its relations with China.
A strategic Sino-Japanese partnership based on mutual respect is in the interests of both countries and will contribute to regional stability, Komura told a group of high-profile diplomats at a key security conference in the southern German city of Munich.
Japan should seize the opportunity of a state visit to Japan by Chinese President Hu Jintao in spring to push bilateral relations to a higher level, Komura said.
"China is a key player not only in Asia but in the international community," he said, noting that many global issues, including climate change and the fight against terrorism, can not be effectively addressed without China's involvement.
Komura welcomed China's constructive role in solving the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula within the framework of six-party talks.
The minister also warned that any unilateral attempts to change the status quo across the Taiwan strait could spell tensions in the region.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who visited China in December, has described 2008 as "a very rare opportunity" for the development of Sino-Japanese relations.
The year 2008 marks the 30th anniversary of a Sino-Japanese friendship and peace treaty, which was signed by Fukuda's father, former Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, and the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1978.
The three-day annual security meeting, which kicked off on Friday, is scheduled to address a range of the world's most thorny issues.
Some 300 high-profile diplomats, including NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana, attended this year's meeting.
(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2008)